Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn was a hugely wealthy Welsh landowner, and a member of the ‘Honourable and Loyal Society of Ancient Britons’. Reynolds shows him with his mother. In the background is the Welsh fortress of Dinas Bran, associated with the Welsh kingdom before the English conquest in the thirteenth century. Williams-Wynn commissioned two paintings of the same view from the landscape painter Richard Wilson.
Sir Watkin was proud of his descent from the ancient British and Welsh kings, but he was also a sophisticated London gentleman with a grand house in the West End designed by the architect Robert Adam.